Sunday, June 6, 2010

Curiosity Kills the Cat- or the Hamster

As a parent, there are times that the situation calls for you to be very serious and a strict disciplinarian. But all you really want to do is laugh really hard and possibly even be a little impressed with your child's ingenuity.

When Amy was little we had a cat named Cocoa. Cocoa was a very good cat overall. She tolerated Amy dressing her up in doll clothes- when Amy could catch her. And she even allowed Amy to lay on top of her.

At some point, Amy decided she wanted a dog. Hubby, in his ultimate wisdom, told Amy that we couldn't get a dog until we didn't have the cat. Any mother will tell you that you must give more perimeters to such a statement, or your children's little imaginations will take it and run.

A day or two later, I saw poor Cocoa come streaking through the den, mad and wet. I followed the water trail back to the bathroom, where Amy proclaimed she was trying to get rid of the cat so we could have a dog- by flushing Cocoa down the toilet. She truly did not mean to hurt the cat. She merely used her problem-solving skills to come up with a way to get a dog.

This story has become legend  in our family and amongst friends. I imagined it could never be topped. This weekend it was.

A friend of ours has a very cute, precocious young boy, (I'll call him Bobby) with too much intelligence for his own good. He has been known to pick locks like Houdini in order to escape and go play with friends. He also has done many other things that will ultimately make his parents gray at a very early age- if they are able to keep from pulling all their hair out.

Bobby's sisters had hamsters, whom they loved very much. Bobby loved playing with them, too. But he was always looking for how things work and how to entertain himself.

Apparently, one of the sister's hamsters wound up in Bobby's closet, nesting happily in a pile of his clothes and toys. The rodent was only found after discovering a trail of hamster pellets that led the family to the closet.

The other sister's hamster was not nearly as fortunate. Bobby needed to know if hamsters could swim. And he had a fascination with the toilet and how things seemingly disappeared into a circular water slide. Hamster Number Two met his untimely death by being sucked down into Bobby's toilet. The rodent is gone.

Now, when my friend told me this, I understood inherently that I was supposed to be shocked and appalled. That is no way to treat animals. They are not supposed to be harmed in any way by us humans, who have taken them on as pets, and should treat them kindly.

However, I had to slap my hand over my mouth to keep from laughing. Why? Because it is so surreal and so dang funny. NOT that the hamster died, of course! But that this little blond ball of cute boy so innocently wanted to see how the toilet worked. And that he was able to retrieve the hamster undetected. And that the hamster didn't just swirl around the bowl- but actually was sucked down, not to be found ever again.

My poor friend. I feel her pain. Amy -and hubby and I- will never live down poor Cocoa (who is now happily living on a farm and chasing mice to her heart's content). My friend, her hubby and Bobby will never live down "the Great Hamster Event of Summer 2010."

I think my friend is getting Bobby's sister a replacement hamster- and a lock for sister's door.

Bobby got in big, fat trouble. But he's exactly the kind of kid who grows up to build priceless inventions. At least, I hope...

1 comment:

Kat from California said...

When my daughter was 6 she would put the hamster on her lap while she went potty. She did this 5 or more times. The poor hamster would fall in and one time he had logs with him too. The hamster lived but his more life was short.